Steep rise in prices of raw material slows down activity in district

Construction workers and members of the Greater Vijayawada Builders' Association staged a rasta roko in front of the Sub Collector's office on Saturday demanding that the State government initiate steps to ease scarcity of sand and control escalation in the prices of steel, cement, and other raw material.

Construction workers' unions affiliated to the CITU, the AITUC, and the INTUC said about 2 lakh people, including 50,000 in the city, were dependent on the construction industry in the district. This apart, 25,000 people, who were working in quarries, brick kilns, and gravel quarries, were indirectly dependent on the construction activity. The taxes introduced in the recent Union budget were a death blow to the construction industry, they said.

The steep escalation in the prices of raw material has slowed down the construction activity. The workers are not getting employment. The prices of essential commodities have also increased phenomenally. Consequently, the workers are caught in a piquant situation. They neither have work nor respite from escalating prices.

GVBA president M.S. Murthy and secretary V. Subba Rao said people were largely dependent on the industry after the agriculture sector. Farmers were committing suicide as there were no remunerative prices for their produce. The situation was no different in the construction industry, they said.

Memo submitted

The construction workers were equally facing hardship and would take the extreme step if the government failed to come to their rescue, they said. They submitted a memorandum to the Sub Collector urging him to appraise the grim situation to the government.

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